Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Butterfly Garden, March 21st:

Butterfly Garden, April 21st:

Butterfly Garden, May 21st:

Butterfly Garden, June 21st:

I still find it nothing short of miraculous, that you put some seeds in the dirt and pretty things just grow out. I wonder if aged farmers, after a lifetime of tilling, planting, harvesting, and tilling, planting, harvesting, ever find it just boring. But then I know people who have zero interest in gardening and they find it all boring. That's people, I guess -let's get on with the miracles already! and I imagine most miracles are lost on those without patience. Still, if I hadn't put those seeds there, I'd be waiting around all summer for wildflowers. I might spy some eventually amongst the weeds, but it wouldn't be nearly as good. No, the best miracles are the ones you have a hand in.

It reminds me of a quote you've probably heard:

Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. I learned a deep respect for one of Goethe's couplets:

Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.
Begin it now.

The whole quote is often misstated and then misattributed to Goethe, but it actually comes from a guy named W. H. Murray, who was a Scottish mountaineer. That doesn't matter, of course, but I mention it because ordinary Scottish mountaineers don't often get a lot of credit for great thoughts, and also because the quote is never associated with mountain climbing. Here, I apply it to small miracles (if there is such a thing) and the wonders of gardening, but it hardly seems a step beyond Base Camp. (Such is the test and application of a "great thought.")

I admit it was only sightly bold; I put the seeds in the ground, I put a little effort in to turning the soil, I made sure it got some water. And then I just hoped God would happen along and flip the 'Flower' switch.

I doubt I could ever be a real farmer, boldly hoping until my dying days, with all my livelihood, and that of my family's, depending on it. And I suppose there's a missing element, called faith, that plays a part. Otherwise, who knows? Providence might not be so inclined to take the stage.

Still hoping for the butterflies, though.